DAY 5 - Young guys get extra work

Aug. 14, 2009

CORVALLIS -

It shouldn't be considered a shake-up of the depth chart but several young guys got a lot of reps today with more senior players sitting out of practice. The most noticeable? Markus Wheaton.

'Practice was good for a lot of young guys. Markus doesn't know what he's doing out there yet,' head coach Mike Riley said. 'But when he's got the ball he's very talented. He has a lot of ability ... very fast.'

Wheaton, a true freshman, took turns with the first team today with James Rodgers sidelined by a sore knee. While Wheaton may not have known all the plays, he had the benefit of Rodgers' help in the huddle, he certainly knew what to do when he had the ball in his hands picking up large chunks of yardage.

At safety, Jordan Poyer stepped in the second defense with hamstring injuries sidelining Anthony Watkins and Lance Mitchell today. Poyer, another true freshman, took his lumps but also had at least one break-up and two interceptions. Coincidentally, Poyer was featured by OSU Communications Assistant Ryan McCall in a Q & A on osubeavers.com.

When Patrick Henderson limped off the field and Keynan Parker (shoulder) already out, it was a third true freshman, Rashaad Reynolds, who took most of the snaps with the second team along with David Ross.

While Wheaton and Poyer made several big plays are were singled out by today's media gathering, Joe Halahuni, Damola Adeniji and Casey Kjos continue to make plays all over the field. On defense, Cameron Collins made several plays delivering solid hits and deflecting a couple balls.

In the Strange Play of the Day department, offensive lineman Colin Kelly caught a tipped pass at the line of scrimmage after rumbling forward several steps, OSU strong man Stephen Paea had seen enough and put Kelly on his backside with a big hit.

TEAM BUILDING The Beaver football team listened to motivational speaker Mike Rich last night. Rich, an OSU graduate, is a Hollywood screenwriter with a flare for sports movies including The Rookie (2002), Radio (2003), Miracle (uncredited, 2004), Invincible (uncredited, 2006). He's currently working on Secretariat.

MEDIA STUFF Once again the media contingent was manageable. The Oregonian's Paul Buker was replaced by Ken Goe and Molly Blue today. Both focused on Jacquizz Rodgers and Stephen Paea, so keep an eye on OregonLive.com for video and articles on both guys. Cliff Kirkpatrick of the Gazette-Times spent time with Lance Mitchell and Kevin Frahm today during lunch. After practice, Kevin Hampton of the GT spoke with Geoff Garner. Dirk Weishaar of KVAL-TV was at practice as well and focused on the receiving corps including Darrell Catchings and Jordan Bishop. Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune made his first appearance of the fall. Eggers, who showed up on crutches, has been on the injured list throughout the fall after hip surgery. Eggers spoke with several players today including Markus Wheaton, Peter Lalich, Taylor Kavanaugh and Sean Canfield ... as long as were mentioning injured beatwriters, Gary Horowitz of the Statesman Journal remains on the disabled list after knee surgery. We're looking forward to seeing Gary back in action next week ... Ryan McCants, who continues to make progress in his return from knee surgery, ran on the sidelines today with head athletic trainer Barney Graff.

SIDELINE VIEWS Darrell Catchings had the catch of the day when he stretched out to reel in a one-handed grab ... Jordan Poyer also had a great interception midway through practice first knocking the ball away from the intended receiver and then staying with the play to snare the ball ... On the injury front Catchings (sick) and Kevan Walker (lingering effects from a collision Wednesday) returned to practice ... On the flip side, James Rodgers (knee) and Lance Mitchell (hamstring) stayed out of practice today. Patrick Henderson limped off the field early in practice and stayed out.

 

The Beavers are in full pads tomorrow for the first double-day of the young season. The first practice runs from 8:30 a.m. and the evening practice is set for 6:30 p.m.

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